“It’s quite unexpected that now, during a time of immense uncertainty and anxiety, I am on what I consider to be the best path for me to do the work I want, which I also feel is incredibly necessary right now. I couldn’t have predicted that three years after I ventured out on my own that the world would be forced to embrace the kind of working environment I had been advocating for years,” says Sinal Govender, founder and director of pop.law.
Govender met her business partner through Instagram and they launched their legal consultancy for freelancers, startups and SMEs on the first day of South Africa’s national lockdown. “Starting and growing a business during a global pandemic might seem ridiculous to others, but to see it thrive and help thousands of South African during an otherwise anxious time has been an unquantifiably proud moment for me,” she says.
Shortly after being promoted to a senior associate at age 28, Govender resigned from her previous job without much of a plan, but knew she needed to start her own legal consultancy in order to have more control over the work that she does. She also wanted to be able to provide her service to people who need it the most. She’s had no job security, but she says she’s found enjoyment in her work.
“I think that, for too long, knowledge of the law has been used to oppress the majority of South Africans, and I am committed to making the law accessible to everyone and using it as a tool to drive socioeconomic change,” said Govender.
Instead of confining herself to an idealistic reality of what a lawyer should be, she has been able to expand her impact beyond the law, into the educational and mentorship spaces, working with like-minded people who are just as committed to making a change in this country.